But how can we gain those important consumer and market insights in order to actively drive sales volumes?
This is the key question being addressed in outcome two of the nursery industry’s latest Strategic Investment Plan (SIP).
The SIP outlines the R&D and marketing priorities for the next five years and is designed to promote innovation, increase demand for nursery stock and ensure a strong, sustainable nursery industry.
Importantly, the outcomes, which have been identified in consultation with growers, are aimed at providing real returns on grower investment.
Outcome two seeks to deliver increased marketing effectiveness and efficiency, and better decision making based upon increased industry knowledge.
The three key strategies to achieve outcome two are:
- Obtain a better understanding of the consumer, their requirements and reasons for buying or not buying green life products or services.
- Obtain better industry intelligence including value of industry, and people employed.
- Disseminate industry information and insights to growers and key stakeholders.
Importantly, innovation will drive invention and improvement that will help maintain productive, resilient, sustainable and profitable nursery businesses and the industry.
The levy is compulsory, so make sure your money is invested wisely. See how to have your say on where and how it’s invested via the link below.
1. Gaining a better understanding of consumers
The nursery industry has an extremely broad consumer base, ranging from local governments to developers and everyday gardeners.
For this reason, understanding the varying and changing tastes of the different consumer types remains a challenging but vital task for the industry.
Developing a system or set of initiatives – backed up by facts – will take out some of that guess work and provide growers with a clearer understanding of consumer trends.
These insights enable nurseries to better plan ahead – particularly for peak times of the year – so as to meet customer needs, whilst at the same time lifting productivity and reducing wastage across the business.
2. Equipping growers with industry intelligence
Having a clear picture of the industry’s social, economic and environmental contribution to society strengthens the position of growers and helps to inform decision making at a business, industry and government level.
A key part of this is consolidating industry data and statistics, whereby nurseries can benchmark themselves against each other across a wide range of functions such as employment, production and sustainability.
A new industry statistics program is underway and seeks to address the data gaps that currently exist. It’s being led by credible, independent agencies, together with key growers and industry stakeholders, to ensure success. To read more about Nursery Industry Statistics and Research (NY16004) see here.
It’s anticipated this program, together with other initiatives relating to outcome two, will help to maximise the opportunities for growers by enabling access to solid, reliable data.
3. Improving communication within the industry
Underpinning outcome two is the need for industry to communicate consistent, quality information to growers about the latest developments in the industry.
Having an effective extension and communications program to disseminate valuable information – such as case studies and technical papers – encourages greater adoption of best practice.
Knowledge sharing and the exchange of ideas can lead to real improvement in business as this seeds the adoption of new and innovative practice.
Outcome two is about providing industry with the foundations it needs to flourish, and actively communicating these outcomes to growers and the broader base via a range modern channels.
Have a project idea for outcome two?
If you have any concepts, brainwaves, notions or inspiration on projects that may help to achieve outcome two, suggest these to Hort Innovation by:
- Talking to NGIA or your State NGI Association
- Approaching a member of the nursery industry Strategic Investment Advisory Panel
- Using Hort Innovation’s online Innovation Concept Pipeline